Last December, I wrote a post comparing the Minnesota Wild to the NFL’s Tim Tebow, who was at that point a quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Not to toot my own horn (*braaaaaaaaap*), but I wrote that “over time, when the luck balances out and when the Wild, Tebow or any other underdog regresses to the mean, we need to be able to point out why”.
What followed was a list of reasons why the Minnesota Wild and Tim Tebow may not be as good as the commentators suggested. That was on December 12, when the Wild had 43 points and were tops in the Western Conference at 20-7-3. Both the Wild and the Broncos were on 7-game win streaks, the Broncos coinciding with when they switched quarterbacks. Still, it didn’t make any sense. Neither the Wild, nor Tebow, were really good, yet they were getting credit for all these wins they may not have deserved. Thankfully, logic prevailed, and the Broncos went on a three-game losing streak while a combination of regression and injuries brought this Western-leading team back to normality, they lost 8 straight games and won just 15 of their final 52.
I have a growing list of things that I am missing thanks to the lockout. The latest occurred to me while I was reading some old blog posts from last season and ran into the Hockey Hugs series over at Puck Daddy, curated by my blogwife, Harrison Mooney. I badly miss high-quality hockey photography, both for the potential hilarity and for the beauty.
There’s something about hockey that leads to some of the most fantastic sports photography in the world. Maybe it’s the canvas – the crisp white sheet of ice – combined with the vibrant colours of NHL jerseys. Maybe it’s the magic of such a fast-paced sport distilled to a single frozen image. Whatever the case, I love hockey photography and miss being able to scroll through Getty Images in the morning for shots of the previous night’s games.
There are still plenty of NHL photos available: they’re just a little less exciting. Here are 10 of the best photos of the NHL lockout.
This Boston Bruins baby bikini doesn't actually appear on the list, but it haunts me. Oh, it haunts me. (shop.nhl.com)
If we have learned anything from the NHL lockout, it’s that the owners of the various NHL franchises like money. They like to have it and, once they have it, they like to keep it. If they feel they don’t have enough of it, they want more of it. Most importantly, they want to have it for a very long time and are willing to have less of it now if it means having more of it later.
A decent chunk of the Hockey Related Revenue that the owners want more of comes around the holidays, as hockey fans across North America buy hockey-related presents for their loved ones: tickets, jerseys, collectibles, and other sundry items with a team logo affixed along with a slightly heftier price tag than the exact same item bereft of said logo. I have received many such items from my family over the years: pens, car flags, scarves, t-shirts, and bumper stickers, to name a few.
Quite frankly, no one should be spending any money on the NHL during the lockout, as currency is the one mode of communication a fan has to express his or her displeasure. I know, however, that the NHL and its teams’ stores will still do business, albeit at a slightly less brisk pace. Heck, my wife and I couldn’t resist buying our 1-year-old an infant-sized Canucks jersey when Sport Chek had a 40% off sale. But seriously, he looks adorable in it. We are very weak.
But there are far stupider ways to give the NHL some of your hard-earned cash this Christmas. Here are five of them.
Over on TSN’s Facebook page is a letter from Boston Pizza to the NHL. Boston Pizza, for those of you who don’t know, is a huge chain north of the border (oddly, it’s in the US too, only it’s just called “Boston’s” there, from personal experience) that sells pizza, beer and wings. It’s a great spot to watch a little puck too, since they all have bars and TVs and again, we’re talking Canada. And further: I’ve been a dishwasher, pizza delivery guy and server there, so it’s safe to say they have excellent taste in staff.
They reached out to the league in a one-page ploy that in no way is just a viral marketing attempt that I’m biting on because there’s no news, and is surely a completely honest appeal that they think might work. Free wings and beer, I mean, how could extremely rich people say no? Read the rest of this entry »
It’s that time of the year, and Shawn Thornton knows it: Christmas is a-comin’. And, without hockey to play, guys are apparently looking for other gigs. Courtesy CBS Eye on Hockey and Days of Y’Orr, here’s Shawn Thornton narrating “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” for us, accompanied by the Boston Pops.
I know how it is, Mr. Strome. Every summer I was told to put on 10 or 15 pounds. It’s hard work, and frankly, it makes being a skill guy more difficult for awhile. Being bulky is something that takes some getting used to.
Well, it has come to this. While my original prediction that the National Hockey League season would start up in late December is still very much in the realm of possibility, it’s become tiresome to continually write about the lockout. The public theatre also seems to bug a bunch of people, so I’ve been inspired to transfer some of the major characters from the NHL’s labour dispute to the world of Shakespeare. This was mostly so I would have the chance to characterize Gary Bettman as the equivalent of Billy’s Richard III, a deformed manipulator who became one of literature’s classic villains.